Apache - Native American Movie Listing
I certainly appreciate that Apache was trying to tell a Native American story from the point of view of the Native Americans. The Apache had happy lives before the government came along and tried to squish them onto reservations. Masai, a member of the Apache tribe, is rightfully indignant when they unceremoniously toss him into a boxcar and ship him off to Florida with Geronimo.
True to the famed Apache long distance running talent, Masai escapes and manages the long, arduous trek back to his homeland. He even has a right to be cynical about his native american friends, when he is sometimes helped and sometime hindered by them. It gets to the point that he wages a one man feud against everyone around him.
That all being said, it was hard for me to setle into a mindset where I could really relate to Masai *being* a Native American. He's played by Burt Lancaster. He always looked like Burt Lancaster with red paint on him. His sweetheart in the film is Jean Peters, who looks like a white woman with red paint on her. Masai is really foul to her throughout the movie. You would think, if he really wanted to perpetuate the Apache way, that he'd want to have a female around to do this with. Instead, he actively torments the only ally he has in his fight.
When he finally does weaken enough to allow her to stay with him, the movie becomes unbelievable. The ending sequence does not make a lot of sense.
Most of the movie focusses on the towns of the old west. You get to see very little of the culture that Masai was trying to preserve. You get much more of what the natives had been assimilated into. If we are going to see hours of Masai fighting for what he believes in, I would have loved to have seen that ground laying time, to really appreciate what the Apache culture was all about. Still, I suppose for the 50s this was a step in the right direction.
Native American Movie Listing
Oxendine Genealogy Research - Main Page